Doctor strike: The protests started after attack on a junior doctor at a Kolkata hospital.
Kolkata/ New Delhi: With the doctors' strike in West Bengal inching towards a sixth day, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said she accepts all valid demands of the protesting doctors and requested them to return to work. Ms Banerjee, addressing the media this evening, said, "We are not going to take any strict action against the doctors". The doctors, however, are in no mood to relent and have refused to call of their protest. Meanwhile, the central government has asked for a report from the state, sources said on Saturday. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan also wrote to all Chief Ministers, calling for strict action against anybody who assaults doctors. The doctors' strike, triggered by an attack on two junior doctors by a patient's family on Monday, has spilled over to other states.
Here are 10 latest developments in this big story:
- "We are eagerly waiting to start our duty, but from the Chief Minister's side there is no such honest initiative to find a solution (of the ongoing problem)," news agency PTI quoted a spokesperson of the joint forum of junior doctors telling reporters.
- Saying that it had received a number of representations from doctors, healthcare professionals and medical associations, the Home Ministry urgently sought a report from the Mamata Banerjee government on the ongoing doctor strike.
- Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan wrote a letter to all states, asking them to consider enacting specific legislation for protecting doctors and medical professionals from any form of violence. The minister had blamed the state government for the escalating doctors' strike.
- Protesting doctors turned down an invite for a closed-door meeting with Mamata Banerjee at the state secretariat on Saturday and instead asked her to visit the NRS Medical College and Hospital to hold talks and resolve the impasse.
- Ms Banerjee, who had lashed out at the protesters and blamed "outsiders" earlier, said she had given them another appointment at 5 pm on Saturday but the junior doctors did not come. "Other states have often taken stringent action in such cases. We have not," she said.
- The doctors' protest in Bengal continued for the fifth day, paralysing medical services. Protesters set six conditions, including an unconditional apology from Ms Banerjee for her remarks against the agitation and action against those who assaulted their colleague.
- A delegation of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) met Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan over the ongoing protests. The country's leading doctors' body launched a four-day nationwide protest on Friday and called a strike on Monday.
- In Delhi, doctors at 15 hospitals held protests on Saturday, the Federation Of Resident Doctors Association said. The AIIMS Resident Doctors' Association has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Bengal government to end the stalemate.
- Junior doctors in West Bengal are on a strike since Tuesday after two of their colleagues were attacked by the relatives of a patient who died at the NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata a day before.
- More than 300 doctors across various state-run medical college and hospitals in West Bengal have resigned and health services have been affected by protests in several states.
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